'I had no intercourse with her or anybody else': Saskatoon motel owner denies sex assault allegations

WARNING: This story has language and content that may be disturbing to some readers

Woman says owner of Northwoods Inn and Suites tried to extort sex for rent then raped her

John Pontes outside Saskatoon provincial court during his sexual assault trial on Sept. 11, 2018. (Don Somers/CBC)

WARNING: This story contains language and content that may be disturbing to some readers.

The owner of a Saskatoon motel denies outright that he extorted a tenant for sex and then raped her. 

"I had no intercourse with her or anybody else," John Pontes told the court during his trial Tuesday at provincial court in Saskatoon.

The complainant in the case testified Monday that Pontes sexually assaulted her after she agreed to have sex with him because she was unable to pay her rent at the Northwoods Inn and Suites. 

Pontes owns the Northwoods Inn & Suites in Saskatoon. (CBC News)

She said that while she initially agreed to have sex with the 75-year-old Pontes because she couldn't come up with enough money to pay him for a room, she changed her mind when the two of them were alone and undressed in the bedroom. 

She said that when she tried to put her clothes back on, Pontes threw her on the bed and raped her. 

Woman's testimony was reliable, detailed: Crown

Pontes denied the allegation flat out, saying that the woman was never in his room and the two of them had no sexual contact of any kind.

The Crown said this claim might not hold up because the woman was able to describe in great detail the motel owner's room. 

Crown prosecutor Sheryl Fillo told the court that the complainant had no reason to lie about the sexual assault because she went to police with her story days before being evicted. 

"She is not out to get him, this is not any sort of revenge matter," Fillo said.

'He said, she said' case: defence

Pontes's defence lawyer Patrick Fagan told the court his client's story stood up to cross-examination and that, if his story is believed, the judge has no option but to acquit.

"This is a classic he said, she said case," Fagan said. 

This is one of two allegations of sexual assault from different accusers that Pontes is facing. A judge decided Monday to try the cases separately.

The second complainant had a similar story of Pontes extorting her for sex. That case is set for trial in February. 

Outside court on Tuesday, Pontes did not answer questions, but did swear at reporters. 

Provincial court Judge Morris Baniak has reserved his decision in the case. His verdict is expected Nov. 8.


Charles Hamilton is a reporter with CBC Saskatoon.